Country Seats of the United States of America
Country Seats of the United States of America
1 More
Country Seats of the United States of America


Country Seats of the United States of America
William Birch, 1808
BIRCH, William (1755-1834). Country Seats of the United States of North America, with some scenes connected with them. Springland, Pennsylvania: W. Birch, 1808.

A rarity of early American color plate books. "Birch's skill as a miniaturist is demonstrated in his charming second book. Birch and his sons, Thomas and George, collaborated on this work, combining line and stipple engraving with delicate coloring to rich effect. The conception of Country Seats was primarily decorative, a handsome series of views aimed at an audience such as might possess country estates themselves. This kind of luxury view book, a genre of immense popularity in England and Europe, never really took hold in the United States. Americans preferred to buy individual view and prints which were produced in huge numbers, but not expensive books” (Stamped with a National Character). Howes B-460 ("c"); Sabin 5531; Stamped with a National Character 2.

Oblong quarto (222 x 275mm). 20 hand-colored copper plate engravings, including general title and section title (a little spotting). (Dampstain and spotting to preliminaries but plates clean.) Original half morocco over marbled boards, gilt leather label on upper cover (tips worn, front joint cracked but sturdy, some scuffs and soiling). Custom morocco clamshell box.

Brought to you by

Christina Geiger
Christina Geiger Head of Department

Related Articles

View all
What I’ve learned: Thomas Venn auction at Christies
Bound for glory: 10 landmark b auction at Christies
The best exhibitions of summer auction at Christies

More from The Private Collection of William S. Reese: Part One

View All
View All